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Bron Animation Acquires Rights to ‘The Willoughbys’

Adam Wood to direct screenplay written by ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’ director Kris Pearn.

BURNABY, B.C. -- Bron Animation has acquired the animated film rights to the popular children’s book The Willoughbys by Newbery Award winning author Lois Lowry, it was announced today by Bron Animation President Brenda Gilbert.

Published in 2010, the story follows the four Willoughby children, Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane. The childen are abandoned by their oblivious parents and must learn how to adapt their old fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create something new, the modern family. 

The Willoughbys’ screenplay is being written by Kris Pearn and will be directed and co-written by Adam Wood. The film is currently in pre-production at Bron’s studio in Burnaby BC. Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Luke Carroll will produce. Lowry is represented by Don Laventhall at Harold Ober Associates.

“The Willoughbys is a wonderful and unexpected story that fits our goal of producing animated films that are unique and a bit edgy,” said Brenda Gilbert. “We are very excited to bring the book to life for the big screen with such talented people as Kris and Adam, and hope it will become a popular classic.”

“The chance to bring this tale of finding the family you deserve instead of the de-facto one you are given is both interesting, timely and a no-holds barred awesome adventure,” added Wood. 

Pearn, a graduate of Sheridan College’s Classical Animation Program, has worked on such features as Open Season, Surf’s Up, Shawn the Sheep, Pirates: Band of Misfits, Arthur Christmas and Home, to name a few.  He was Head of Story on Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and co-directed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  Pearn has also published numerous comics and children’s books such as Edward the Tree Climbing Dog, and Project Superhero for ECW press.

Wood started his career over twenty years ago as an animator, then episodic director at Mainframe Entertainment followed by six years at Pixar studios, animating on such films as Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo. Since then he has directed television, DVD projects, and was the Animation Director for the theatrical feature films Space Chimps and Escape from Planet Earth. Wood is currently the Writer and Director of Bron Animation’s feature film Henchmen as well as being the VP Creative for the studio.

Source: Bron Studios

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.